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Football: Norway coach stunned by Aussie drubbing

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06 Jul 2011 21:00:11

Norway coach Eli Landsem admitted the former footballing giants were stunned after crashing to their worst showing at the women's World Cup here on Wednesday.

The 1995 winners fell 2-1 to Australia in their final Group D clash which had been crucial for both sides hopes of reaching the last eight.

Norway needed a win to advance as they were equal on three points with second-placed Australia but behind on goal difference. Group leaders Brazil were already through unbeaten as one of the two group qualifiers.

"The disappointment is incredible," said Landsem whose side had never failed to reach the quarter-finals since the tournament began in 1991.

"It all went wrong. We really had hoped we would make it much further than we have but I think we played a good game. We'll come back strongly and do better next time."

The Norwegians had looked the stronger team in the first half and Elise Thorsnes put the 2000 Olympic champions ahead after 56 minutes.

But just a minute later Kyah Simon grabbed the equaliser and the 20-year-old Sydney FC forward sealed victory with a header three minutes from time.

The result was a double blow for the Norwegians who not only miss the quarter-finals for the first time, but are now out of the running for the 2012 London Olympics.

"It was our goal to go to the Olympics, we're really disappointed that we didn't reach that goal," said Landsem.

"We'll go home and work harder. We'll be back. I believe that the Football Association will continue supporting us and back us all the time.

"The Olympic Committe in Norway will be on our side. We must make an extra effort to come back."

Norway have competed in all editions of the tournament, finishing runners-up in the inaugural event in 1991, and four years later lifting the trophy.

They were also European champions in 1987 and 1993.

Australia coach Tom Sermanni said his young side had made a big breakthrough after achieving their first win in five meetings with Norway.

"Norway are a formidable opponent and they made it difficult," said the Scottish coach. "To get credibility you have to win games against major teams at major touranments.

"It's a significant step and will be a huge boost for the players confidence going into the other matches."


AFP

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